The sympathetic nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system. It is their task to prepare the body for physical activity, for example by accelerating the heart rate or by widening bronchial passages. The sympathetic nerve is activated mainly when we are faced with stressful or dangerous situations and is responsible for triggering the fight-or-flight-response.
The sympathetic nerve cells are located in the spinal cord. They form bundles of nerve cell bodies, so-called ganglia, that run along either side of the spinal cord. This chain of ganglia, which extends from the base of the skull to the coccyx, is also called the sympathetic trunk. The position in the immediate vicinity of the heads of the ribs makes the trunk susceptible, since even the slightest blockage of the vertebra can cause these rib heads to press on the ganglia and thus cause irritation.
A permanently activated sympathetic nerve can lead to a multitude of disorders. A common characteristic of the resulting ailments is that they usually only affect certain parts of the body, that the symptoms get worse while resting and that no physical cause can be found. Treating the sympathetic nerve can often offer help – the physiotherapists at our practice in Berlin Mitte offer the so-called sympathetic therapy.
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Typical applications for sympathetic therapy
Numerous, often chronic physical complaints can be traced back to an irritation of the sympathetic nerve by a vertebral blockage. Sympathetic therapy is a relatively new treatment option that uses trigger point stimulation to treat the resulting pain and disorders.
In our physiotherapy practice in Berlin-Mitte we use the method, which was developed by Dr. Dieter Heesch, to treat
- restless legs syndrome
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- heel spur
- dry cough
- back pain
- nocturnal leg cramps
- shoulder pain
- lateral hip pain
- irritable bowel syndrome
Our physiotherapists have two different methods at their disposal to treat an irritated sympathetic nerve: manual micropressure and permanent needles.
A micropressure treatment starts off with a search for the trigger point that causes the pain. Once this has been found, the sensitive area is stimulated by applying pressure for a few minutes using a special tool. This releases the blockage in the vertebral joint.
During a treatment with permanent needles, the trigger points are stimulated with the help of small needles. The needles are applied using a plaster and can remain in place for several days. The extended stimulation of the trigger point allows for a more lasting treatment and dissolution of vertebral blockages.